Bob Dylan: Christmas In The Heart (Columbia) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Christmas In The Heart


Nov 30, 2009 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Three years ago, Under the Radar reviewed a Christmas album by hair metal goofs Twisted Sister, and with all due respect to Bob Dylan, who is perhaps the best songwriter of all time, Christmas In The Heart is a similar curiosity. Aside from the obvious point that it is strange hearing Dylan, née Robert Zimmerman, singing Christmas songs, it is often just awkward to listen to the elder’s scraggly croak making its way through commonly known carols such as “Winter Wonderland,” “Little Drummer Boy,” “Silver Bells,” and “The First Noel.” “Do You Hear What I Hear” is a particularly throat-scratching example of the cognitive dissonance one experiences by hearing Dylan sing these songs. The arrangements are faithful to the tunes you remember, and sometimes the classic feel is nice. For example, the jazzy textures of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” evoke those gems grandma used to play on the old phonograph. The accordion-led silliness of “Must Be Santa” and the tropical swing of “Christmas Island” add cute, different touches. But Dylan sounds like he’s on his deathbed, reaching for the high notes in “Hark The Herald Angels Sing,” and “Here Comes Santa Claus” is just bizarre coming from Dylan. Christmas In The Heart is quite an oddity, and it’s probably only for Dylan completists. It does, however, beg the question of who will throw his or her hat in the Christmas CD ring next. Given the gravely voiced nature of this particular collection, all I can say is: Tom Waits, you’re up. (

Author rating: 3/10

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shaine robbins
December 25th 2009

this album is terrible even though I love Dylan.  Terrible

Super Mario
January 29th 2010

Surely a minor work in the Dylan canon, but you have to be seriously insensitive not to feel a warm tingle at this old poet singing Christmas carols with such sincerity.

Mark Ewans
March 5th 2010

Thanks for taking the time to post such a detailed and informative article. It has given me a lot of inspiration and I look forward to more like this in the future..
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December 14th 2011

Bob Dylan can du whatever he wants, because he’s Bob Goddamned Dylan.

That is all.

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